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Sportswear brands are worn by everyone and anyone. From apparel to accessories, we constantly see it around us or on Tv. But what are the origins of the names of these brands? Here’s everything you need to know about the genesis of the most important sportswear brands.

NIKE:The Beaverton colossal took his name from Greek’s mythology. Nike (Νίκη) is the personification of victory and is represented as a woman with wings. The name was chosen by the founder Phil Knight, that during a holiday spent in Greece he remained astonished by Athene and its importance to Western society. In particular, Knight was quite impressed by the Temple dedicated to Athena Nike, representation of victory, which is also the goal of the brand. 

adidas: The origins of the name Adidas, the German brand specialized in sportswear, is very simple: the six letters derive from the union of “Adi”, Adolf Dassler’s nickname (the founder of the brand) and the first three letters of his last name. Adidas was officially founded in 1949, but the brand’s story starts in 1924 when the Dassler brothers, Adolf and Rudolf, sons of a shoemaker and a laundress from Herzogenaurach, started producing handmade soccer shoes by founding the Gebrüder Dassler Schuhfabrik. Their partnership was interrupted in 1947.

PUMA: The young Rudolf Dassler, brother of “Adi”, was nicknamed Puma. When in 1947 their shoe production company was closed after 23 years, Rudolf founded his own company, Ruda, from his name’s initials (sounds familiar?). The following year Rudolf changed the name to Puma.

ASICS: Asics is a popular Japanese sportswear brand. The company, based in Kobe, was founded in 1949 by Kihachiro Onitsuka to produce shoes for a sport that wasn’t even that popular in Japan, basket. Then it expanded and started producing apparel and accessories for all kind of sports and activities. If Nike pays homage to Greek’s culture, Asics got its inspiration by Latin’s culture; the name is the acronym of the phrase “Anima Sana In Corpore Sano” (Healthy soul in a healthy body).

DIADORA: Diadora was founded in Caerano San Marco (Treviso, Italy) by Marcello Daniel. He called his company “Diadora” a name suggested by a friend. The word comes from the name given by the Greeks of Byzantium to the Dalmatian town of Zadar. Originally called “de Ladera” or “from Zadar,” it was mistakenly copied and translated from Dalmatian to Latin, becoming, along the way “Diadora.

LOTTO: Lotto was established in 1939 by the Caberlotto family (who were the owners of the football team F.C. Treviso) in Montebelluna, northern Italy, the world centre of footwear manufacturing. In June 1973, Lotto made its debut as a sports footwear manufacturer. The name comes from the last portion of their last name.

REEBOK: The brand became really popular in the 90s and got its name from the rhebok, a type of antelope. The term was found by Foster’s brothers, founders of the brand in a South African dictionary. The original name of the company was Mercury Sports.

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